Baytekin Fezada Carpinsanlar (Flash Gordon’s Battle In Space) aired on Turkish MTV at some point and that has allowed viewers worldwide to see a much better print of this movie than anyone would imagine possible.
I remember when the Buster Crabbe serial would air late at night in the year before and after the big-budget Flash Gordon movie and my grandfather laughing at how amazing these films looked when he was young and how silly they appeared today. I didn’t agree, as I was just astounded by the world that they gave me.
This movie plays way fast and loose with Flash, who learns early that he’s one of the princes of the galaxy who has been brainwashed to forget his lineage by Ming.
Amazingly, Flash became a big deal in Turkey and his adventures were altered by Mehmet Gurtunga, who published two other Alex Raymond strips — Secret Agent X-9 and Jungle Jim — as all the adventures of Baytekin, but localized in Turkey. Even odder is that this is a Xerox of a Xerox, as Jungle Jim was created to tackle Tarzan, while Flash Gordon was the counterpart to Buck Rogers.
And then — man, I’m just loving Ed Glaser’s How the World Remade Hollywood and you will too when you buy it — Turkey remixed the Buck Rogers serial and the movies Jungle Jim and Nabonga, all of which starred Flash Gordon actor Crabbe — and made them Bayterkin films.
I should add here that Crabbe would play Brigadier Gordon in an episode of Buck Rogers which really brings this all together.
In this, there’s no Zarkov, but plenty of women for Flash to fall in love with. He does not, however, send the Dale Arden character the mental message “Oh my God, this girl’s really turning me on.”
In a perfect world, the 1980 movie would have been a huge success and we would have received numerous Italian remakes of it.
You can download this from the Internet Archive.